What is the Difference Between Coaching & Therapy?

Coaching is not therapy. A coach does not work on "issues" or get into the past or deal much with understanding human behavior. Coaches leave that up to the client to know and figure out. A coach helps you move forward and set personal and professional goals that will give you the life you really want. Psychotherapy generally deals with emotional/behavioral problems and disruptive situations – and seeks to bring the client to normal function by focusing on his/her dysfunction. Therapy is usually done in-person although, at times, it may be done over the telephone. Coaching deals with functional persons who want to move toward higher function – and achieve excellence while creating an extraordinary life. Coaching is a process similar to solution-focused techniques that therapists use for less serious psycho-emotional problems and life stresses.

Therapy, Counseling and Employee Assistance Benefits

• Focuses on the past and its impact on present problems and issues. ("the Past which hinders you")
• Targets overcoming of past history and "dysfunctional programming" ("Deficit-based")
• Develops insight and freedom over past trial and trauma (“Recovery-based")
• Addresses and probes for "hang-ups"
• Emphasizes diagnosis and treatment (“Pathology”)
• Reduces the experience of symptoms, distress, and discomfort ("Cure")
• Focuses on getting over the past in order to live well in the present
• Focuses on the future and its relevance in guiding present thoughts and actions ("the Future which Beckons you")

• Targets alignment of actions and output with values, life mission, and priorities ("Destiny-based")
• Develops competency, capability, and confidence for personal goals ("Resiliency-based")
• Uncovers and optimizes key assets, strengths, and abilities
• Emphasizes discovery and development (“Potentiality”)
• Increases the deployment of resources, talents, and gifting ("Competency")
• Focuses on taking hold of the present in order to capture and optimize the future

Executive Coaching vs. Consulting

Coaching is a not a form of consulting. Coaches do not assess situations or give advice on how to handle issues. A coach will often stay with the client to help implement the new skills, changes, and goals to make sure they really happen.

Executive Coaching vs. Sports Coaching

Coaching includes several principles from sports coaching like teamwork, going for the goal, being your best. But, unlike sports coaching, most professional coaching is not a competition or win/lose based. A coach strengthens your skills vs. helps you beat the other team. It's win/win.

Executive Coaching vs. the "Do It Yourself" Plan

No one needs a coach but almost anyone can benefit from having one. Partnering with another person is a great way to increase the energy around you and build momentum. For example, many entrepreneurs tend to be "lone rangers" and want to do everything for themselves but are oftentimes overwhelmed with all of their ideas. Coaching provides you a way to GET PERSPECTIVE and gain focus, and a coach will work with a client to put each idea into action through its successful completion. Moreover, a coach will always keep an eye on maintaining balance in life. Ever tried to buff up at the gym by yourself? It gets boring and the effort tends to go in starts and stops. Hiring a personal trainer who knows the most direct route to a better body and who will develop a plan you'll want to stay with consistently is leaps and bounds more effective for most people. Plus a coach can see when you are getting bored or losing steam and will change your routine to keep you moving forward. It's the same concept here, and isn't it just way more fun to have a partner who holds you, your vision and goals as their total focus?

What are you waiting for?

Make the difference in your life today and learn the skills you need to live life with purpose.


"Barbara got my head ‘screwed on right again’ so that I am focused on the activities that matter. When I started with Barbara I was in a real funk. I was struggling with vision, with motivation, with direction. I couldn’t find a way to pull it all together. Sales were down close to 55%. After just two short months, the fog lifted. All of a sudden, I’m able to focus on the activities that are important. My business has turned around as well and our best year ever is in sight. Barbara provides great, practical advice both from a business and personal coaching perspective.”

- Michael Podobnik, President, Teletrix

"Barbara has a rare gift for helping people articulate the best side of themselves to the world. Supported by her contagious confidence, warmth, groundedness, optimism, and no-nonsense attitude, I’ve shed limiting patterns and beliefs, and harnessed the power within me to define and embody the exact kind of life I want to be living, both personally and professionally."

- Abby Bolton, Communications Specialist and Consultant, TiER1 Performance Solutions

"Through a combination of coaching conversations, NEC®, and her gentle pushing at the right times, I surfaced again, not just to my ‘old normal’ self but to a new and stronger me."

- Malene V, Maersk, Kopenhagen, Denmark

"I have been an executive coach for over 10 years and I consider Barbara Schwarck a 'coach's coach.' Barbara's unique use of coaching is a tremendously powerful way to create breakthroughs quickly, both personally and professionally."

- Dick Singer, Chair, Vistage International

"She pushed me to reach farther than I thought possible."

- Laura Fennimore, BN, MSN, Director of Organizational Development, Nursing Education & Research, UPMC Presbyterian

More from Clear Intentions International & Dr. Barbara Schwarck

Online Life Coach


Personal & Life Coaching for Individuals Who Are Ready for Change. I believe that I can help you get unstuck, overcome your fears,  leave the past in the past, and help you live the most amazing life you ever dreamed of. 


Barbara's Book

From Intuition to Entrepreneurship: A Women's Guide to Following Her Dream  If you are a woman who has goals to be an entrepreneur and to take this life walk on the path to success, this may well be your breakthrough book.


Muscle Testing 101 - App

This innovative tool will guide you through the process of performing kinetic muscle testing on yourself or others. Download the Clear Intentions International Muscle Testing 101 App from iTunes or Google Play.